Big Give Knox for Giving Tuesday is Tomorrow!

Hey Folks,

As a follow up to our blog post from a couple of weeks ago I wanted to tell you all more about the Big Give Knox and our facility expansion.

Big Give Knox is an online giving campaign designed to raise awareness to the Knoxville non-profit community. The event is centered around Giving Tuesday, which is always the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. We’ve been able to accept donations through this platform since last week, and are able to do so through tomorrow, Tuesday November 30th, 2021 at 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time. Tomorrow there is the potential for extra monetary prizes for us if we receive a certain amount of donations during specified hours, but you can donate any time from now until day’s end tomorrow. The time and day of your donation is not what is important to us, it’s your constant support of what we do, so that we can continue to do it.

Click here to go to our Big Give Knox profile

Or you can search “Conservation Fisheries” here, on the Big Give Knox homepage

Any fundraising and crowd-sourcing that we are doing lately will funnel directly into our facility expansion. The drawings are amazing and we truly cannot wait until we can break ground on upgrading our building. However, that will take time, and will certainly take money.

Phase 1 of our renovation is to upgrade our existing hatchery space to be working at maximum efficiency by the time construction on our building begins. We’re most focused on upgrading our recirculating systems. Several of these recirculating systems were built 20 years ago when we first moved into this building and haven’t been changed much since, if at all! This means that most systems are due for new plumbing, new drainage routes, and more efficient sumps and filtration.

Recirculating systems that aren’t getting new plumbing right away are getting different upgrades. For example, we’ve recently invested in new sponge filtration that will be more efficient, especially in our large breeder tanks. Replacing and upgrading old sponge filters will greatly improve the water quality within a recirculating system, and therefore the quality of life for our fishes. New and different sized substrates for more favorable breeding conditions are also among these upgrades.

The logistics of adding on to a working hatchery are very complicated, which we will tackle as Phase 2. Essentially, when it is feasible with our current hatchery space and we have the funds, we can start construction to add more hatchery space while continuing to work in the space that we currently have. We will tear down what is now our office space, and expand into what is now our parking lot, nearly doubling our hatchery floor space and creating smaller, isolated hatchery rooms and more functional office space. The smaller hatchery rooms will be able to be maintained at different temperatures from the main hatchery, which will allow us to more easily work with temperature-specific fishes without the use of chillers and heaters. In recent years, these fish have become an increasingly large portion of the fish that we work with, and with recent studies on the effects of climate change, this need will continue to grow. One of these smaller rooms will also serve as a new, larger Green Room, where we culture small live foods (such as zooplankton and grindal worms) for our fishes. After all, more hatchery space means more fish to feed!

New office space will not only benefit our working environment but will also improve the quality of our tours and outreach potential. The designs allow for an in-office view of much of our (new) hatchery space, and we will have more functional areas to host visitors. We also anticipate having a lobby where we will display some of our native fish, as well as honoring our gracious donors and sponsors.

As you can see, we have a lot of fantastic things ahead of us! We’ve been doing our absolute best, but we need your help to continue moving forward. Donations from you, our supporters, is what will allow us to build the facility that our fish and staff deserve. Funding that comes from our contracts is allocated to a particular project and we are unable to use those funds for renovation purposes. Thankfully, any private donations that we receive can be used as we see fit, and right now that is for our facility expansion.

Thank you, again, for your unwavering support.

-- The CFI Staff

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